DECIPHERING SUBCELLULAR MITOCHONDRIAL GENETIC MECHANICS WITH NANOTWEEZERS

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Dept of Chemistry

Abstract

We currently have no basic mechanistic grasp of how mitochondrial mutations spread within single
cells. We further do not understand how this spread might depend on specific mtDNA sequences.
Despite this lack of understanding the spread of specific mitochondrial mutations likely has a central
role in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's.
Within this CDT project, we will develop a novel biophysical tool combining spatial mapping, extraction
and genomic profiling of individual mitochondria from living cells (AI/JBE). These activities will be
complemented by established expertise in mitochondrial research (PFC/MD/NJ), mitochondrial
sequencing and sequence informatics (PFC/NJ) and mathematical modelling (NJ) to enable a unique
opportunity to go beyond theoretical modelling and traditional static single-cell mitochondrial
assessments for the investigation of mitochondrial dynamics in real-time, in both live cells and tissues.
By combining spatial resolution of molecular trapping with current-based methods for
molecular characterisation this technology has the potential to elucidate mechanisms by which
mutations accumulate over time, resulting in mitochondrial dysfunction and disease.

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/S023518/1 01/10/2019 31/03/2028
2277609 Studentship EP/S023518/1 01/10/2019 30/09/2023 Annpreet Sahota